Children flock together to see what life is like on the wing

Children from Shade School visited Ramsden Farm at Walsden before Easter to look at how the farm tries to support birds and attract them to the area.

Royal Society for the Protection of Birds twite project officer Charlotte Weightman was visiting the farm, which is also an outdoor education centre, and she explained her work to the children and showed them a life size model of a group of twite birds.

The children first thought about shelter for birds and the tremendous amount of work a bird needs to do to build a nest. All the children then built a model nest using the materials birds would use, said Ramsden Farm’s Yvonne Howarth.

The next focus of the day was food for the birds and their eating habits. Although the Twite only eats seed many birds eat insects and small mammals. The children then carefully dissected owl pellets to try and find out what kind of creatures the owl eats, she said. The day was concluded by a visit to the stock building to look at the cattle and sheep in there, all awaiting the birth of their young ones later in the spring.

“The day was made more special for the children as Charlotte had brought booklets and study resources for them all to take back to school,” said Yvonne.

Educational facilities at Ramsden have been sponsored by Natural England, which ensures that all school and group visits are free to the schools and organisations.

There are other free events planned at Ramsden which are now booking. The lambing event takes place in April between 15 and 26, although many of these places are booked. During the first two weeks in June Ramsden will be running the “Ugly Bug” event. This includes mini-beast safaris and pond dipping to find out about the smallest inhabitants at the farm.

“Finally in July we will be running several fun days which should prove to be a fantastic end to the school year. To book any of the above events, or to discuss any special visit you would like to do please ring me on 01706 813667 or email me on yhowarth@aol.com,” said Yvonne.